The Rookie League is instructional and improvement based. All coaches should strive to teach the proper way to play the game. The objective is to have the players improve, have fun, and not to win every game. Modified games will be used to keep it fun and have some competition.
Each child MUST have his own helmet. Heart guards are MANDATORY. Players are NOT permitted to bring their own bats. This must be made clear to parents at first session during parents meeting.
In first 3 weeks of season, teams should practice /warm up first before playing a game. As the season progresses, practice time should be shortened and games can be up to 5 innings. Be mindful that games on weekends are scheduled back-to-back and under no circumstances should your game extend beyond your allocated field time.
All players will be included in the batting order. If a player appears late for a game, he/she will be inserted last in the batting order. The batting order should be changed from game to game to give all players the opportunity to lead off, bat third, bat cleanup, etc.
Pitching and catching will be done by the coaches. It is recommended that the coach pitch on one knee or sitting on a ball bucket. It is much easier to hit the ball when it is on plane as opposed to traveling on a severe downward angle. The intent is to have the players put the ball in play, not to strike players out. If a player struggles to hit in this manner, underhand pitching or a tee may be used.
The team in the field should try to make the plays in the field, but regardless of the number of outs a team makes, an inning will end when all batters have had a chance to hit. If an out is made, the child will return to the dugout.
Fielding positions will be 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and shortstop. All other players should be spread out in the outfield. No one will field the catcher’s position. All players should be rotated to give them the chance to play all positions.
There is no advancement on any overthrow. Coaches should teach runners the proper way to run the bases (i.e. run through 1st base, round the corner of the base if running to the next base, etc).
Running indiscriminately from one base to the next is not allowed and coaches must control this. Coaches should coach 1st and 3rd base to give direction to the runner to eliminate this. If a player hits a long drive or a ball into the gap, he may try for an extra base hit. The 1st base coach will give him the direction to proceed.
Skills Checklist: Continue to develop the skills from “T-ball”, trying to improve technique in all the skills.
Learn to approach ground balls, catch, set and make a strong throw to the appropriate base.
Learn to catch a pop up/fly ball, set and throw to the appropriate base.
Learn how to hit a pitched ball with a quick level swing, DROP the bat and run to first base, looking to take the extra base if instructed to do so by the 1st base coach.